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Trump Administration
  MSNBC Live  MSNBC  March 21, 2017 11:06am-11:40am PDT

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>> i'm giving you my answer, senator. >> we are going to skip across town for a moment. sean spicer has just taken the first question at the white house briefing, we're doing this in part because we expect questions on these last two days of hearings. >> adds attacking this bill, jim jordan said the president is great but it's still a bad bill. what gives the president the sense of optimism he can get this through? might he request more changes were speaker ryan before it goes to a vote? >> we have talked about this for days. there has been input from members of congress. i think that the meeting this morning really was a huge sign of suort. there was a lot of enthusias and optimism. not just forhe bill itself, but for something that as i noted conservatives and republicans and a lot of democrats frankly have been fighting for for a while which is a more patient centric health care system. i think the president's has continued to engage with members. he will continue to do that all
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the way through thursday. but we -- as i also noted there were a lot of changes that were made by the speaker last night. additional legislation, the three pronged approach that we talked about in the past has been put forward to actually make sure that members understood the comprehensive nature of this. this is one vehicle. there is a huge administration piece that secretary price will administer through administrative action that was given to him when they passed this bill, and gave that authority to kathleen is a bill yas, then the secretary of health and human services to implement pieces they couldn't get done legislatively. we can now unwind a lot of that and add a lot of consumer based and competition measures through the administrative thing. but then the third prong, all the other stuff that we've todd about for years as republicans, buying across state lines, expanding health savings accounts, et cetera, et cetera, all of that has now been introduced as well. and i think that he continues to meet with members and walk away with a very, very optimistic
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view of where the bill is headed. i think a lot of the measures that have been changed and tweaked and updated have assuaged members who had concerns or wanted to see some additional tightening. keep in mind if you are a conservative who has been fighting for repeal and replace, this is your chance. fur a conservative who has been looking to address out of control entitlement spending, this is the first attempt -- this is the first reform of an entitlement program in terms of medicaid in 30 years. these are a truly conservative set of principles that we are fighting for. the competition that's in the bill. the ability to allow prices to come down and choice to go up, there is nothing more conservative that is in this bill. i think as members continue to talk about ideas that have been included in the bill and the principles of it we feel good going into the final stretch.
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>> may he seek more changes? >> it's possible but we have made positive steps forward. i don't want to rule anything out. but i will say that i feel very good about this, where it stands now, and i think that the more and more that members meet with the president the more they understand how important this is to the overall agenda that we're seeking to pass. i think if we can, as the president noted this morning to members, if you can repeal obamacare, replace it with a health care system that does what conservatives and independents and frankly some democrats have talked about for years that does exactly that kind of thing, instill choice, drive down costs, allows people to get care they have been promised and get on to things like tax reform we will have an amazing first year in office. i think the president reminded them this is the first step in an amazing agenda that he set forth and that we can work together on. damon. >> thanks sean. members of this administration talk about the stolkt as a real time barometer how the
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administration is performing. this afternoon the stock market was off as much as 200 points on the dow. some are suggesting that's because traders are sensing a lack of progress in the trump agenda, worried he might not be able to accomplish everything he set out to do. does the president believe today's dip in the dow is a result of his performance as president of the united states. >> i think to look at one day is nothing that we have ever -- we have always cautioned. overall it continues to be up tremendously. if you look at more than just that one indicator -- you probably want to know better than anybody in terms of what you cover that you can't look at one indexes and say that is the benchmark of the economy. but you see confident levels both in small businesses other surveys that show there is continued confidence in the market and optimism in the market. you see manufacturers coming back to america, talking about investment. major ceos and small biness
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growing the economy and talking about job creation. those are the indicators. the numbers we saw last month -- again, one month doesn't make a record but it was promising not just because of what the number was but what it had been forecast to be. it was expected to be 200,000, came in at 235. again, when you are overperforming, i think that shows a sign of optimism and confidence in the market. i think, again, i just want to make sure we are clear before we go into -- as we continue through the months, one report does not make something to base an entire record off of. but i think that we feel very good about where things are headed and the direction things are going not just in term of the indexes and the ups and downs of the market but also in terms of the number of manufacturers that are walking in and restating their commitment to grow jobs, expand, et cetera, in the market. >> expect confidence that president trump will be able to get a tutankhamen done this year? >> i think we're well on our way
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to seeing this agenda done. the president rolled out the budget which reaffirmed his commitment to fiscal austerity. increases in national defense and homeland security that he promised, prioritizing other things in the budge. we have got obamacare done. on immigration, executive order wise. and i think when you are doing big things, obamacare, tax reform -- i mean the health care system is a fifth of the economy. that's no small feat. in terms of what you have seen so far going through three committees moving along, the senate ready to pick it up. his pick of neil gorsuch, the agenda is moving along at a brisk pace in terms of what his priorities were and where i think we are headed. >> sean, last month you talked about the consideration potentially of a carbon tax which i guess was discussed in the meetings a the white house. we are hearing some reports that there is a pretty lively internal debate. gary cohen might be someone who
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is more prone to that. can you just discuss, is the president considering a carbon tax? what are some of the various opinions going on in the white house? >> i think there is a robust debate going on with respect to comprehensive tax reform. as we've mentioned, i mean our goal right now is to get through thursday. and that's what the president has talked about very publicly. we need to get obamacare repealed and replaced and move on to tax reform and some of the other trade reviews that we've talked about, immigration. there is a lot of things on the agda i'm not going to comment on specificng of that. i will tell you thatbviously there is a lot of people that recognize that we haven't had comprehensive tax reform since 1986 and that there is a lot of pieces in this that we need to examine and get to. and there is a lot of voices and opinions that get shared with him. so i'm not in a position where i'm going to get into commenting on piecemeal on where it is. but i will say that's even more reason that let's get past thursday. you know, when you look at the week ahead, real quick, glen, in
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terms of this, the repeal and replace aspect, from gorsuch, i think from a legislative impact, i think it is a big week for the white house seeing all this done, hunter. >> thanks sean. president trump previously indicated that he want to appoint pro life judges who would be willing to overturn roe versus wade. in his testimony today jouj gorsuch said he would have walked out the door if president trump asked if he had this position. is president trump confident that judge gorsuch would be willing to overturn this? >> jurists are originalists as people who aren't looking to legislate from the bench and i'm not going to take the bait during a live hearing to comment on that, but i appreciate the
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effort. ronnica. >> thank you sean, i have two questions on the same story. recently a 14 yoerld girl was raped in the boy's bathroom of her high school. a 17 and 18-year-old boy have been charged: one of the boys we know unlawfully entered the country. both of them have outstanding orders with i.c.e. here's my first question. currently, schools are prohibited from denying education base on immigration status. does the president hear a story like this and think it should be addressed or changed in a future executive order? >> i think first let me just say that this is a tragic prevent, and it's horrendous and horrible and disgusting what this young woman in rockville went through. i can't passably imagine. so first of all, let's remember the human side of this, that this is a tragic event. that no child, no person, no parent should ever have to deal with. school should be a place where a parent puts their child on a bus
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or drops them off or sees them off and knows that they are safe. and the idea that this occurred is shocking, disturbing, horrific, and whatever other words that come to mind that someone can think of because this is not -- school should be a safe place where children are there to learn and to feel safe in that kind of environment. to know that this happened and the circumstances -- this young woman in particular fought to come to this country legally because of the freedoms and the treasures of this nation. and to think that this kind of tragedy would occur to someone who has personally endured that kind of struggle to come to this nation and then face this is reprehensible. and it is not who we are as a country. i think it is troubling. and i think further, to your question, the president recognizes that education is a state run and a local run issue, but i think it is pause for
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concern what happened there. and i think the city should look at its policies and -- and i think that this is something that authorities are going to have to look at. i think from an immigration standpoint clearly to see somebody -- there are so many facets of this case that deserve question. why was there -- i think he was 17 or 18 years old. 18, thank you and how does that person get put into the ninth grade? why -- i mean there are so many issues that come up in this case. i will leave it to authorities to get through, but i think we are in the early stages in this and there is a lot that needs to be addressed with respect to this case in particular. hear you about it being a state issue. let's talk about something the president has implemented and used his voice is voice, victims of immigration crime enforcement. is that enough? >> no. it'sne piece. the president understands that victims need a voice, which is why he rabrought it to them.
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i think part of the reason president has made illegal immigration and crackdown such a big deal is because of tragedies like this. we ask when we hear about this, why isn't the president dealing with because of this priority? part of the reason is because the tragedy that this young girl dealt with, had inflicted upon her. whatever the word is. this is why he is passionate about this, because people are victims of these crimes in terms of them, they are victims of the economic piece of it. there is a national security piece. but immigration pays its toll on our people if it's not don done legally. this is another reason why the president is passionate about it. it's multiple facetted. why i just read off that this executive order is dealing with people who committed crimes who local enforcement agency or municipal palities at the state level are not dealing with it. if you go to i.c.e. website and
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download this it's over 30 something pages of cases where people where a person is convicted of a crime where local law enforcement for one reason or another are not enforcing the law and turning that individual over to federal authorities to be deported. and i think this is another example of why this issue needs to be addressed. john? >> sean, is the president going to hold republicans against health care -- are they going to pay a price if they vote against this bill? >> i think they will probably pay a price at home. meaning i think that you can't go promise over and over again, since 2010 in thelong and even . this was a major component of the last election. and i think there is probably not a single republican member in itself who went out and talked about this. i think when you realize the components of this bill and that
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the president worked with the house and the senate to put something together and achieved a promise that was made to voters, yeah, i think there is going to be a price to be paid. but it's going to be with their own voters and they are going to have to go back and explain to them why they made a commitment to them and didn't follow through. one of the thing that's interesting is that people who agree or don't agree with president in legislative agenda at least give him high marks for keeping his word and his promises. i think that's one of the things that he has made clear this morning. we pledged to the american people at the congressional level, at the senate level, at the presidential level to go do something. and this bill, while it probably not everybody got everything they wanted does exactly what we said. it's repealing and it replacing it with all the principles and the aspect that we discussed throughout not only last cycle but in a lot of cases through 2010. >> will he campaign against republicans -- >> let's get through the voeflt i think one of the thing he made
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clear this morning was he was going to make sure the people who did support this, he would be out there supporting them. i'm not going to focus on the negative as much as the positive today. and he made it clear to members for those of you who go out there and keep your word and support it we're going to make sure that we voters, mart. >> i was -- that's what i was going to ask. let me try did well. >> that's okay. i have got another one. on the laptop restrictions by the u.s. and the united kingdom. >> yeah. >> it certainly sounds like that may have been in response to a specific security threat. what can you take about from the podium in as much specificity as you can, if you can't do specifics, at least help us to understand, are there multiple threats? is there one threat? multiple countries -- what is going on. yes, yesterday the tsa announced new enhanced measures on flights
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inbound to the united states from ten of more than 250 countries that have flights coming into the united states that serve ashe last point of departure. i think even the ranking member ofhe house intelligence committee adam schiff who we have not always shared the same point of view with agreed saying these steps are necessary and proportional of the threat. we are aware that terrorists continue to target commercial aviation and are progressive in pursuing innovative attacks. based on the information the secretary of homeland security and the tsa administrator determined it is necessary to enhance security procedures for passengers at certain last point of depart your airports. that being said i'm not going to going furg than that and i would defer further comment to the tsa. >> i'll try what i was going to try earlier then. mark meadows speaks like a nice
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guy. the president seemed like he was joking but has the president decided in his own mind yet whether he thinks it would be appropriate potentially to mount primary opposition campaign for primary opposition for the republican national primaries in the midterm. >> mark meadows was a long time early supporter of the president. he had some fun at his expense this morning during the conference meeting. and i think he continued to express hope that congressman meadows who is the head of the freedom caucus would continue to see the efforts that have been made to make this better, and address a lot of the concerns out there. but he has made it very clear that he was having fun with him. the president's committed to making sure this gets passed. we'll go from there. vivian. >> thanks sean. first a follow-up to margaret's question. why wait for the new aviation regulation's 96 hours to implement it?
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isn'the president's mantra on counter-terrorism that we have to kind of sneak up on our enemies, not let them know our tactics? >> i'm going to ultimately refer you back to tsa. i will tell you, remember, these are ten airports of last point of departure to the united states out of 250 that come here. part of it is to allow -- you have to provide appropriate note pick to the host country, to the host airlines and give them opportunity to get those procedures in place. i'm not going to comment any further about the security measures that have been or -- have been taking place or are taking place just to continue to refer you back to tsa. but i will tell you i think implementing something of this nature in that time frame is pretty darn quick. >> something totaledly resulted. has the white house counsel approved ivanka trump getting a west wing office and clearance? what is the administration's thinking behind this? >> i think that counsel actually
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approves office space. but i get your question. ivanka has taken on several measures to promote high standards of ethical conduct. she is not a federal employee but she will follow steps as if she were. halle. >> one on health care to follow up on the follow-ups. you made clear that the president was going to be supporting those who supported the bill. >> right. >> i don't want to talk about the flip side of the coin but when he talked this morning in the closed door meeting about people paying a price, losing seats not getting a majority. is that an implied threat from the president to the members who don't back this bill? >> no, i think it is a political reality. i think if you go out and promise the american people something voters something especially on a scale like this -- like i said -- there is obviously members that have been there one, two, three terms. this is something as a party we have made clear if you give us this we will got this done. i think to make a promise and pledge of this magnitude and not
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to follow it through i'm sure voters will be upset. we've seen this in the past. i think -- i think it's something that the i think the president has staked, has kept his word. it is a political reality. if we make the pledges to the american people and don't do what we said we will do on the big things they won't keep us in the majority and they are going to look for an alternative. >> just a follow up. will he remember the nes of thoseeople who don't back the bills. gizzi. >> i love your counting. it's like cbo. >> oh! >> sorry. come on. that was -- >> do you want to elaborate on that. >> no, i don't. go ahead. >> i do want to ask about the russia testimony. you addressed it from the podium 24 hours ago but there was an interesting moment that happened a little bit after the briefing where director comey was asked about live tweets coming from
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the president and the director comey was fact checking the president in real time, essentially saying he was incorrect in his tweeting. is the president affected? >> let's be clear. he was answering questions. i mean it's not like he was out there. he was responding to a question. but, again, i think it's foreign to note with respect to this that -- you know, and i saw a couple comments yesterday, senator coops took issue with a couple of the comments that we made. let me read to you -- i know you love this when i do it. senator coops, direct quote, quote, i have no hard evidence of collusion. end quote. director clapper, quote, to my knowledge, end quote. senator tom cotton, quote, not that i've seen and not that i'm aware. this is in reference to any type of collusion with russia that occurred. morale, quote, there is smoke but there is no fire.
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senator chuck grassley. both right, no evidence of trump clueding. we've now gone over this on multiple occasions. at some point there is a distinction between an investigation that goes into russia's involvement in 2016 and this continued narrative that falsely tries to link the trump -- the president for white house into any of it. they continue to see that there is nothing there. every single fern who has been briefed who has come out and publicly talked about it, republican, democrat, former dni, former cia directors, obama appointees, have said, no evidence. so i get that we keep getting asked -- >> that's not my question. >> my point is that's one of the tweets that he addressed, former dni continues to note, that is true. these are their quotes. this is what they've said. at some point the question has to be to the individuals who said this, chris coons from
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delaware, former collector clapper, former cia director morale, they are the ones who said these things on the record, they have been brief booed by the intelligence community, by the fbi and said there is no collusion. at some point to fact check the president for merely quoting them is not -- the question should be directed at them, not us. but over and over again it has come to the same conclusion. caitlyn. >> john. >> john, authenticate listen. that was nice of you. it's national ago day. >> thank you sean. thank you caitlyn. i have two questions. first, the author, david horowitz, in his book "the big agenda" writes of what he calls, quote, a deep state, ends of quote. in which he said these are obama holdovers in government who are trying to undercut the president's agenda.
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>> uh-huh. >> this has been widely repeated on social media. does the president himself believe in this deep state? >> well, i have asked thi -- been asked this question before. i will a give you the same answer i've given before which is i think there are people that borrow into the government after an administration. this is going back since the gingham of time. they used to call it rams becking. is suddenly no longer permitted. but this has been going on since the country came to be, where people burrow in after an administration into a civil servant job. but, sure, there is people after eight years of obama that found their way into government. so it should be no huge secret. >> all right. >> okay? >> yes. by other question -- >> rams becking? >> oh, yeah. >> oh, google it. >> i remember -- >> have you ever seen my spelling. come on, ram speccing. it was named after -- we are going to go through a his three less on here, guys.
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>> a former congressman. >> right. >> my other question was over the weekend, governor grabbingo ramirez, the head of the mexican governor's association was again in washington, and in a much publicized statement said that mexico had scored its first victory over the proposed a wall. he said in the president's budget there is a line item for $2.6 billion -- >> in fy 18. >> in tax dollars, and no mention of mexico paying for the wall in any way. he claimed a victory in that. your response to the governor? >> it's early to be claiming victory. i think the president has made it clear that he was going to use the current process to start the construction of the wall. and that he would -- that there would be ways in which the fulfill meant of that pledge would come through. caitlyn. >> thank you. the administration and the president repeatedly said over
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the next weeks they will present evidence he was wiretapped. last week he said it would be coming this week and he would speak on it this week. can we expect the president this week to present that he was wiretapped by barack obama or will he speaking about it? he didn't mentioned last night in his rally. >> let's see how the week goes. >> sean, when we hear the president talk about the need for the health care plan to pass he talked about the important tax reform and the rest. at what point do you think this agenda could be imperilled as you look at the vote count, because you are going to have further fight to get any of this through the senator. >> at what point will the vote count? >> it seems to be a centerpiece of the rest of the president's agenda. given there is no certainty in terms of passage at this point, i mean how concerned are you that thursday could imperil the president's agenda? >> i think it's -- i mean, the
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president's visit this morning was very well received. i think we continued down the path to get the votes. we have a ways to go. we have got to get to the senate next. i think members understand this is something that has been at the heart of what republicans campaigned on. i feel very good headed into this. the president continues to talk to members. and we are going to make sure that we grow the vote as must have as we can. with respect to the rest of the agenda, i think all of the issues that the president campaigned on are things that the house and the senate both look forward to taking up. there is -- whether it's trade or immigration or comprehensive tax reform, all of these issues are stuff that many republicans have campaigned on for a long time and are eager to get going. the president made it very clear as he did last night as well, that, look, part of the -- we've got to keep moving along if we want to get big thing done. there is lot that can get done during this administration, during the first term. and he wants to get as much of it done as possible. the quicker we get repeal and
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replace done and put the american health care act in place, the better. i mean that's the nature of what it is. i think when you look at the speed in which we've moved it's been very responsible. we have allowed the committees to work their will. the house has taken up the amendments. it's been on line. i mean -- this is -- i think you have got to -- there is always a balance between jamming it down and getting it done and over with custom is how the democrats operated when they finally moved on their bill versus how this has been done. i think we have struck a nice balance on this. >> the president said today it could happen when we asked during the photo -- >> we'll have to see. right now it's the american health care act and we are trying to get it done. anita. >> two questions. first the kansas legislature is on the verge of passing a medicaid expansion and the current version of the american health care act does not allow states to pass that. as you know, legislatures are meeting across the country. will there be an exception for
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states if they expand before any new bill -- >> it will be addressed in the legislation. i don't believe there is an exception clause. far be it from me to say. the bill is getting ready to move to the house. the legislature is meeting. i don't want to prejudge the outcome but i don't believe from my understandinghere is any clause that says if. >> secondly. tomorrow you mentioned the congressional black caucus. is there a specific topic, health care, by topics what can you tell us about the president's mess a mg to them. how did it come about? i know there has been back and forth about getting a meeting going. >> april is -- don't drag april into this. this has been something that the president has talked about for a while. he met with congressman elijah cummings. started off in a phone call probably a month or so ago where they discussed prescription dpruging and the need to get it
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down. the conversation continued. the legislative affairs team early on went to some of their meeting and started having a dialogue with them. and that dialogue continued. and there was a desire to have a meeting. the president wanted to have him down. i think there is going to be a range of issues that get discussed. that range from drug prices to infrastructure investment and education, hbcus. there will be a range. i think that's part of it. there is no set agenda to say we must talk about these things. honestly i think health care is going to come up, too. the president wants to get their idea, before april jumps out of her seat we'll give her -- >> thank you for giving me a follow up. i want to follow up on the cbc and i have another question on another subject. so, with the cbc, since you are saying you went through all of this prior to the fact that he became president that there was an effort to reach out to the cbc. with all of this understanding that they are an important group to deal with in handling some of
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the issues, the urban issues or issues that pertain to their community haas how does the president plan to move forward in working with them, particularly some who don't see eye to eye with him? >> part of this is he continues to have a dialogue, april. it's simply sitting down with people, talking about issues, talking about common ground. i think if you look at the conversation that he began and continued with congressman elijah cummings, they found common ground. the president talked about areas where despite some of the narratives that are out there, there are issues that they probably both share a concern for. and that they can work on together. and maybe they won't agree on 100% or 60%. but maybe there is 15, 20, or 30% of the issues. maybe there is one bill in particular they can work . but there is a willingness to sit down and talk. and i think that's the fir step in the process of any of these. it's not just your own party and the president's shown this on several of these meetings where it's not just business leaders.
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he brought in the union leaders. talked about health care yesterday. he had dr. zeke emmanuel in. it is a not about bringing in just people who agree with you. it's bringing in people across the spectrum. i get the rebuilding of inner cities isn't the only issue. but he talked about cbcu, bringing that office in. he talked about rebuilding inner cities, talked about school choice. a lot of issues. >> law and order. >> law and order. and health care. and there is issues that impact urban areas, minority communities, whether they live in rural areas or urban areas. but i think that that dialogue needs to continue because it can only help. and i think that that's what we look forward to tomorrow. >> second subject. as you talk about bringing in groups, you are also bringing in truckers, there is concern in the trucking industry about something called e logs that's going to happen at the end of the year. that truckers with commercial
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trucks or mom and pop businesses all of them are going to have to have computers to log in to monitor the time you drive, the stop and speed, et cetera. a lot of people are saying it cuts into their come. where does the president stand on this? >> let's see if that comes up in the meeting and i'll have a read out. i understand. that's more of a d.o.t. issue. i would refer you to the department of transportation. >> they are very concerned about it. would he at least -- >> i understand in a and i hope that that comes up. >> to follow up on the dhs airline issue. if there is a danger to americans or flyers generally with having lap tops or things that are bigger than a cell phone from planes in those ten countries why wouldn't that also be a danger from other countries? >> as you can imagine i can't talk about the intelligence that we have. i can tell you the steps we are taking are appropriate commensurate with the intelligence that we have and then refer you to the department
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of homeland security and specifically the transportation security administration. >> one other question. >> everyone had two. >> okay. the president's traditionally issue a greeting to those celebrating the iranian new year. will president trump be doing that today. >> let me get back to you. iio -- i don't want to get ahead of myself on that. we may have something for you later. i've got to check on that. but thank you guys very much. let's get back to watching neil gorsuch. and i will see you tomorrow. we are going to have a week full of brief, i'm excited. and i'm very happy that the individual on the press corp. who took tom brady's jersey